The Grit Fund 2022 Grant Recipients have been announced. Grit Fund awards money to collaborative, artist-led projects—up to $10,000. It focuses on projects that bring artists and community members together to explore a sense of place and shared space.
- Baltimore Indians, $10,000- Ashley Minner, Tiffany Chavis, Stanton Lewis, Katie Lively, Dare Turner and Sean Scheidt“Baltimore Indians” (working title) will be an online exhibition of archival photos featuring members of Baltimore’s American Indian community in its heyday, curated and captioned by three present-day members of the community — Tiffany Chavis, Stanton Lewis, and Ashley Minner (all Lumbee). A gallery page to host this exhibition will be added to the recently released baltimorereservation.com site, which has thus far focused on the built environment. Additionally, several more locations significant to the historic community will be documented and added to baltimorereservation.com and the Guide to Indigenous Baltimore phone app. The exhibition and updated public resources will be released in October 2022, for Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
- Invisible Folx, $8,000- Ephraim Nehemiah, Kairo Miles, Kenneth Something, and Jabari Lyles Invisible Folx by Kenneth Something, Jabari Lyles, Kairo Miles and Ephraim Nehemiah is a cultural exploration interrogating the lived experiences of people who identify as both Black and non-binary. Curated by a collective of artists and activists Invisible Folx will use various artistic mediums to highlight the narratives of those who exist in this intersection. A particular focus will be placed on illuminating the faces, identities and experiences of those Black non-binary folx living in Baltimore, Maryland. Members of the collective will host a series of in-person cultural experiences intended to collect the stories, build community and provide an opportunity for Baltimore to see the members of our community too often invisible in an effort to generate an intergenerational narrative.
- Puppets, Masks, and Crankies: Shifting the Story, $7,000- Sheila Gaskins, Tara Cariaso, and Maura Dwyer. Puppetry, Masks and Crankies: Shifting the Story, is a collaboration between Sheila Gaskins, Tara Cariaso, and Maura Dwyer that aims to expose new intergenerational audiences to traditional art forms through teaching artist workshops, panel presentations, and collaborative performances. Keeping in mind the impact the pandemic has had on learning and mental health, the project will create a liberated space for storytelling and art-making that accommodates various learning styles, while fostering compassionate critical dialogue with our peer artist communities to reconnect and reimagine how these artforms take shape in our region.
- PalatePALETTE, $7,000- Krystal C. Mack, Matt Freire, Sharea Harris, Émile Joseph Weeks, and Erin Nutsugah PalatePALETTE by Krystal C. Mack, Matt Freire, Sharea Harris, Erin Nutsugah, and Émile Joseph Weeks is an ongoing digital & print project examining Baltimore’s varied food relationships at the intersection of art and design. PalatePALETTE’s goal is to explore the untold food narratives of Baltimore while investigating the overlooked and unexpected correlations between food, politics, place, and object. Issue II of PalatePALETTE will explore social media’s influence on the livelihoods of food workers, food businesses, and Baltimore City’s food culture as a whole. The intended outcome is to create an artifact rooted in social gastronomy that will allow PalatePALETTE readers to understand the role of influence, social capital, and the internet in designing our food future.
- Community Weaving Studio, $7,000- Ọmọlará Williams McCallister and Najee Haynes Follins The Community Weaving Studio space in Baltimore will be a place where people–regardless of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability or prior knowledge or skills–will be welcomed into the wonderful world of weaving. Our weaving studio will provide free, subsidized, and sliding scale weaving co-teaching spaces and loom time to anyone who wants to learn. The work of the weaving studio will build upon and complement the existing foundation provided by our host space Blue light Junction.
- Funktopia Nation, $6,000- Petula Caesar, Jonathan Gilmore, Stevanie Williams, Jermeka Warren, Ben Pierce, Myles Gilmore, Phil Thomas, Mary Ellen Mink, Stephanie Edwards aka “Safiyatou.” Tamika Peters, and Chris Ashworth. Funktopia Nation is two multi-media creativity intensives happening in July and September 2022, presented by a collective of Baltimore-based creatives led by Jonathan Gilmore. Activities will take place at The Voxel Theater, and will include a gallery exhibit spotlighting BIPOC visual artists, and interactive workshops for adults and young people participating in the Youth Resiliency Workshop in Cherry Hill. Both intensives will culminate with a theatrical concert on the final night. As a curatorial collective led by Gilmore, Funktopia Nation interrogates the presentation of BIPOC art primarily framed in trauma. While Funktopia Nation recognizes that BIPOC artists’ history of trauma often informs their work, we do not want it to be the only lens, or the lens that gets the most attention. Funktopia Nation is committed to ensuring that the lens of trauma and long-standing tropes that find their way into BIPOC creativity do not negatively impact the artistic genius that lives in these creatives. Funktopia Nation creates and holds space for art that expresses triumph and revolutionary joy in visual artistic expression and in performance art.
- What The Water Gave Me/Things My Mother Taught Me, $5,000- Alexis Araminta Renee, Kirby Griffin, Nia Hampton, and Alexis Renee. What the Water Gave Me/Things My Mother Taught Me is an experimental dance film/documentary platforming Black and brown liberation practices in the body. The film, a collaboration between choreographer and performance artist Alexis Araminta Renee and filmmakers Nia Hampton and Kirby Griffin is a visual archive of Alexis’ choreographic research rooted in Black and brown histories and placemaking in Baltimore and the Chesapeake region with an emphasis on migrations, mourning, folklore and ancestral knowledge and traditions.
- Latin(X)equis | Baltimore, $5,000- Hoesy Corona and Stephanie MercedesLatin(X)equis | Baltimore is a virtual exhibition and interview series documenting, exhibiting, and celebrating Baltimore’s Latinx Artist Community. Latinx artists (artists of Latin American descent living and working in the US) have long been an omitted group across historical archives, museum collections, and gallery representation. With Latin(X)equis | Baltimore we hope to contribute to the disruption of this stifling trend. We will highlight 8 prominent Baltimore based artists, critics, and curators as we address the rich diversity of identities and aesthetics found within the Latinx artist umbrella.
Latin(X)equis | Baltimore is a program of La Valentina Podcast, a podcast and exhibition platform that celebrates queer Latinx artists and their accomplices in the art worlds. The program is led by Hoesy Corona and Stephanie Mercedes and is produced by Zeos Greene.
- Pellis:: Terra, $5,000- Jonna McKone, Se Jong Cho, and Elena DeBold. Pellis::Terra (by Jonna McKone, Se Jong Cho, and Elena DeBold) is an art collective developing interactive exhibitions and publications that explore the ways art can create a new language and consciousness through the expression and engagement of multiple timescales (human, generational, and geological) and spatial scales (individual bodily, community, and landscapes). On this multidisciplinary foundation, we aim to create exhibitions, dialogue and increase awareness of environmental and social issues through community engagement and artistic production that imagines a more reciprocal relationship with nature.
- HellBond: Dancing with the Spirits, $5,000- Jia Le Ling and Michael Young HellBond: Dancing with the Spirits by Jia Le Ling and Michael Young is a two-pronged endeavor—performance and workshops—to sincerely engage Baltimoreans about the culture, artistic forms, and constantly-evolving Asian identity. With the East and Southeast Asian notion of Hell as a transitory and non-pejorative space for uplifting good and bad souls, the performance shows how traditions offer spiritual reparation, healing for the Asian community, and alternate ways of embodying metamorphosis. As dancers and musicians from an eclectic range of traditional and modern Asian artistry perform live, audiences pass through an exhibition space that takes visual reference from the East Asian Hell space. The workshops conducted by the performers offer a brief history of their craft and explain the difficulties of preserving, modernizing, and practicing traditional art in contemporary society. At the end of the exhibition, there will be a film screening of the performance and an artist talk by the curators.